Geoffrey Manne on Net Neutrality in Bloomberg Technology

Bloomberg Technology, reporting on a push by California and New York to create their own Net Neutrality rules in 2018, quoted ICLE Executive Director Geoffrey Manne:

“California has a long and questionable history of passing laws and regulations that end up applying to the whole country, because companies don’t want to or can’t change their products to sell them just in California,” said Geoffrey Manne, executive director of the International Center for Law & Economics, a research group. If California, Washington and New York all passed similar guidelines, it could carry a significant amount of weight.

The internet doesn’t lend itself cleanly to state lines. It could be difficult for Comcast or Verizon to accept money from services seeking preferential treatment in one state, then make sure that its network didn’t reflect those relationships in places where state lawmakers forbade them, Manne said. Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly raised this point at the December meeting when the rules were passed, saying the preemption provision in the rules protected internet providers against such a messy situation.